33 things I have learned in 3x3months of sobriety

 

Today marks my third celebration of 90 days sober from alcohol in the last two years. Third time’s a charm, right?! Instead of focusing on how discouraging it can be to try at something and fail, I’m going to concentrate on the fact that I was able to bounce back right after slipping up this last time, and I find that the progress I have made by doing so to be much more valuable than staying on track.

Here are 33 things I have learned by achieving 3 months of sobriety three times in the last two years (that sure is a mouthful lol):

  1. I am forever vulnerable to alcohol, especially when I start to feel most confident that I will never drink again (which usually starts to sneak up on me around 90 days, now I know that extra self-care is in order around this time).
  2. Pretending like I can “handle” bars and being around other people drinking as to not be a burden is very risky and something I do not do anymore.
  3. Thinking in absolutes doesn’t really work for me in any other facet of my life except alcohol and cigarettes. I simply cannot fuck with them, ever. Toying with ideas of future consumption is the definition of dangerous for me.
  4. I absolutely love spending time alone. Reading, drawing, writing, researching, watching Netflix, doing yoga while I watch Netflix, learning, drinking tea, etc. I actually prefer it to socializing. My social life has decreased by about 80% and I’m happier than I have ever been.
  5. I now know that I am able to get back up and start again when I fall down, I do not have to spiral out of control.
  6. My vice is vegan ice cream and I have accepted that.
  7. Striving for perfection only causes me to sabotage myself.
  8. My boyfriend is the most supportive person I have ever met and even though I have had to work through some guilt, I am grateful we have made it through such hard times because it made us stronger.
  9. I am actually not so terrible with money (when I am sober), but I still have a lot of work to do.
  10. Life isn’t as scary when you face challenges head-on instead of avoiding and procrastinating [by drinking].
  11. Never having to worry about a hangover is the best feeling ever.
  12. My anxiety was directly related to alcohol consumption. I’m human, so I still experience anxiety from time to time but it has been 99% cured.
  13. People may give you shit, but they are actually envious.
  14. Deciding to view sobriety as empowerment and freedom from being controlled by a substance was a huge turning point for me (this happened during this last 3 month period, and it has completely changed my outlook).
  15. Thinking positively truly does change your life.
  16. Saying no is very important to my mental health.
  17. Learning how often I put myself in environments and situations that I did not fit into, or even despised (no wonder I got blackout drunk), was painful, but the clarity that comes with now knowing which events I actually want to attend is amazing.
  18. Unfortunately (and fortunately), I have drifted from many people I considered friends while I was partying, the good news is the friends I still have are truer than blue.
  19. I can let go of things that do not serve me. It doesn’t have to be complicated.
  20. The amount of time I spent planning to drink, drinking, recovering from drinking, ditching important people in my life for drinking, putting my life at risk for drinking (literally) is jaw-dropping, but I get to spend the rest of my life making up for it, which is exciting.
  21. I have let go of feeling obligated to spend time with other people, I don’t owe anyone any of my time. I can leave whenever I stop having fun, and that’s OK.
  22. I remember everything (except movies, I’ve never had a knack for remembering movies lol).
  23. I need to sleep 7-8 hours a night to function properly and I still take naps (I thought that might be something that went away). I nap less often, but it is still an important part of taking care of myself when I need it.
  24. I take baths way too often (almost every day), but they help relax and realign me which is invaluable.
  25. I have a much-improved relationship with my mother.
  26. I have many role models and look up to them daily, it is an important practice I never acknowledged or honored before getting sober.
  27. Travelling sober is easier than I thought it would be (Japan, I’m looking at you!).
  28. Travelling with people who drink {very} regularly is a massive challenge and next time I have to plan ahead to stay on track.
  29. I’ve never known what it meant to “feel at peace” until sobriety.
  30. I still have awful, challenging, heartbreaking days where I think it’s unfair that I can’t drink alcohol, but they, too, shall pass.
  31. I used to worry ALL THE TIME about the state of my liver, lungs, brain, kidneys, etc. Now, all that energy can be used to worry about something more productive! lol.
  32. My boyfriend and I went through hell, but now we are closer than I could’ve ever hoped for.
  33. I actually know myself, and I genuinely like the person I am.

 

I may be back at a place I feel I have been before, but the reality is, I’ve never been here. Each attempt at “forever” with sobriety has taught me so much more than how to fail. The slips ups don’t remind me how much I’ve messed up, they remind me how far I’ve come. I wouldn’t be where I am today without trying, failing, and not giving up. That is why I’m so excited to be at 90 days sober, again, for the third time in two years, and optimistic as ever to never look back.

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